Putting sparkle into wine without secondary fermentation

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Brian Bilson

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I have been making foraged fruit wines for about 40 years. With the current rave over sparkling wines, I have wanted to make some but the idea of having must in the bottom of each bottle puts me off.
I wondered if another solution, rather than secondary fermentation, might work.
Has anyone tried putting citric acid and sodium bicarbonate in a bottle of wine? The simple reaction between the two compounds would produce sodium citrate and carbon dioxide, and, provided the quantities of each was carefully controlled, there shouldn't be any residue.
As both sodium bicarbonate and citric acid are available in dry powder form, I even wondered if the two could be combined as a tablet in exactly the right quantities (the reaction only occurring when they dissolve in the wine) or as a tablet for each, again with exactly measured quantities.
The big question is, how much would sufficient sodium citrate affect the flavour of the wine. Chalk (calcium carbonate) should do the trick as well, and there are other organic acids, other than citric, that could work.
I plan to experiment, but just wondered if anyone else has tried it.
 

crowcrow

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Good luck, sounds like a very interesting experiment. My own guess (and it is no more than that!) is that the quantity required to get the wine to the desired pressure to get the co2 absorbed by the wine, would be pretty high making this costly. And that even though they 'should' dissolve away I guess you'd be left with flavours you might not want.

That said, you could do experiments at much smaller volumes and could use water at first to save wasting wine - checking how much you need to carbonate a small water bottle, which would also allow you to confirm any flavour the chemicals might impart.

The other option to to make wine, then carbonate in a sealed container such as a keg (naturally with sugar) and then bottle from that keg, leaving the yeast behind. Or you could make the wine, transfer to fizzy pop bottles and carbonate from a gas bottle with a carbonation cap.
 

Joust

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I regularly make a basic Italian wine from a kit. And put 19 liters in a corny keg and gas it to with a co2 bottle. It makes surprisingly good prosecco style wine
 

aamcle

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Forced carbonation like a beer is probably the only practical solution. You can do smaller quantities in pop bottles I have occasionally done that with beer chilled it quickly carbonated a portion in a pop bottle and immediately drank it.
 

crowcrow

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looks like Big Clive had this exact idea - do let us know if you experiment, be interested to see your results too.
 

franana

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I've force carbonated mead in teeny tiny (5L) kegs and that ended up pretty good so I imagine this should work fine with fruit wines too
 

Stevieboy

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Wow - never seen those before! Sparkle tops were a plastic champagne cork with a spring loaded release mechanism that would let you shoot out the yeast. I can't seem to find an image of one.
 

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